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March 8th, 2004

Email Stamps?

Last week, Mr. Microsoft suggested that everyone buy stamps in order to send email.

Am I alone in thinking this is a really bad idea? One of the beauties of email – also its biggest flaw, I’ll admit – is that anyone can use it. If you can get to a computer with Internet access, you can send and receive email. That’s pretty powerful stuff and allows lots of people access to technology they might not otherwise be able to get.

But the idea of adding another barrier to email in order to thwart spammers in and of itself isn’t a bad concept. The problem is that I don’t think stamps would solve a spam problem; it would kill off a few small-time spammers, sure, but big companies would either buy large amounts of stamps or hack the system. In addition, how would Bill propose this be enforced world-wide? I don’t know if that’s going to happen.

Seems to me that technology did help create this mess and can help solve it, but making it a little more difficult for honest people to use email isn’t the way to do it.

Posted in Technology

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